Could cutting gambling ads on TV threaten free to air sports coverage?

Australian Government’s Commitment to Help Problem Gamblers

The Commonwealth Government understands that most Australians gamble responsibly; however gambling is a major social problem for some people.

Digital technologies are rapidly changing Australia’s gambling industry.

Online gambling is the fastest growing gambling segment, growing at 15% per annum, with over $1.4 billion gambled online each year. Digital technology is also enabling illegal operators to reach our phones, our televisions, our home computers at any time of the day or night.

Australians are losing between $64 million and $400 million every year betting in illegal offshore sites, and this means tax revenue is also lost. In the online world, the proportion of problem gambling is three times higher than in other forms of gambling.

Governments want to protect Australians from these illegal offshore wagering operators which don’t provide the legal and consumer protections Australian licensed sites do. Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is considering a ban on gambling ads being broadcast during sporting events. The move has been supported by many who are concerned with the impact of gambling, especially on children.

But Professor of Marketing at Swinburne University Heath McDonald tells Wendy Harmer it might not be such a good idea. He says networks rely on these ads for much needed revenue to broadcast sports like AFL and NRL for free.

Duration: 13min 4sec
Broadcast: Mon 24 Apr 2017, 8:30am
Published: Mon 24 Apr 2017, 11:47am by ABC Radio

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